While the peak of the opioid epidemic may now have been reached (according to some), we are not out of the woods. Every decision to start or continue opioid therapy must be careful, deliberate, and weigh benefit against risk, while keeping in mind that risk is not constant/static, but dynamic and evolves through time.
For ambulatory patients with solid tumors, pain is prevalent and changes over time, according to a study published online Dec. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
For surgically treated patients with esophageal cancer, symptoms appear to cluster together, and these clusters are strongly associated with mortality, according to a study published online Nov. 25 in Cancer.
Lack of correlation reinforces the need to individualize therapy based on clinical effectiveness for that patient in order to optimize treatment outcomes.
Certain non-cancer pain conditions, including back pain, migraine, and psychogenic pain, are associated with increased risk of suicide in patients using Veterans Health Administration (VHA) services.
With what we now know about opioid misuse and abuse, we need to take the necessary steps to ensure that only abuse-resistant/deterrent medications are used for our patients taking ER/LA opioid medications.